Food is an important part of family traditions, and the recipes we share help keep those traditions alive.

Back in the 1970s I started framing recipe cards and displaying them in my kitchen. The framed cards are inexpensive artwork, keep favorite recipes handy, and warm my heart every time I see them.  It’s as if my loved ones are in the kitchen with me.

I prefer cards that are handwritten but have fewer of them these days. In the not too distant past we traded recipes on handwritten index sized cards. The cards were saved and passed down through the generations.

Technology has certainly made it quicker to acquire a vast range of recipes from people all over the world. It is as simple as an Internet search. If you have a surplus of tomatoes from your garden, simply go to sites like Ladies Home Journal, The Food Network, Kraft, or Pinterest, or check-out any of the countless food blogs. You also can ask friends to email you their favorite recipes. Within minutes you will have dozens to choose from that are easier to read than hand-written ones.

But we miss a bit of the personal touch when we don’t see the cook’s handwriting. In fact we have little opportunity to see anyone’s personal handwriting anymore.

The cards displayed in my kitchen today are mostly typed. I included photos of the person who gave me the recipe and glued them on colored poster boards. I also added scrapbooking stickers around the cards.

Below is a recipe from my mother with her photo. I especially appreciate this card in her handwriting as she passed away in 1999.

Be creative with your recipe art. You can frame your cards individually or grouped. It’s best to scan and print your cards rather than using originals that will quickly fade on the wall. Mount the cards under photo mats or on colored paper. Or feature one recipe in a shadow box with measuring spoons or other kitchen gadgets or photos of the prepared food. The project takes relatively little time and ends with meaningful home decor that will prompt conversation from guests and a smile from you.

©Mary K. Doyle

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